The most important factor when you sit behind the wheel is safety. Your goal is to drive from location A to location B and avoid any type of accident. Unfortunately, some drivers are reckless or they sit behind the wheel tired or drive under the influence, which increases the chance of an accident. And once you’ve been in one, no matter how major or minor, your entire perspective changes.
Drivers will often become apprehensive on the road when it comes to accidents. They start to feel a sense of dread as they go past the site of the accident or end up in a similar set of circumstances. A lot of people start to see these feelings go away after 30 days according to psychologists. However, it’s important to know what to do and not to do in a situation such as this as you look to regain confidence on the road.
Keep on reading to learn more about the psychology of car accidents and what you can do to regain confidence in your driving skills after you’ve suffered one.
DO pen what caused the accident and how it all took place
You are going to be in a situation where recollecting the accident is jarring and it is not as easy to understand what happened. This is why you have to sit down and pen everything to make sure you understand what took place and in what order it took place. This information is vital for you to regain confidence in yourself. You always want to take the opportunity to write these things down because they help you get over the underlying trauma associated with the accident and all of the emotions that went into it. If you write it out enough, you will start to see the accident as something that isn’t uncomfortable.
Although you might be frightened when you sit down to write, which is why it is important to do it with guidance. Other than that, it might not be as effective as you hoped.
DON’T keep it all in
A lot of people will refuse to speak about how they felt or what happened during an accident and this only makes things worse from an anxiety perspective. You want to share what is going on in your head and make sure you let others know. This will allow you to get over the accident and feel safe again. Perhaps see a professional like Clarity Clinic – a lot of people find car accidents cause them a lot of problems.
Opening up at first will be hard for you, which is why it is important to put yourself in a supportive environment. Bear in mind that you are doing this for your own benefit, even though some people might feel shame.
DO ask another driver to come with you for the first time after an accident
It is always nice to have a safety net beside you in the form or another driver. This can make it easier to drive around without having to feel pressured or anxious. Plus, this is not only for the first time. You can do it as many times as you want until you feel comfortable to go out on your own. This is similar to learning to drive for the first time.
Of course, you will not sit behind the wheel alone as you need someone who is experienced to guide you on the road. Until you build confidence to drive by yourself. And the same goes for the process after the accident.
DO begin with shorter distances
Pretend you are an athlete that went through a challenging injury and are trying to come back. You will want to slowly ease into the process rather than going all out. It’s just to get a feel for what works and what doesn’t psychologically. This is how you are going to regain confidence. Keep the drives short and make sure it is all about the process and how you feel.
At first, it can be wise to drive around the block, visit your neighbors, and stay in the place where traffic is familiar. After that, you can go out and pick up groceries or go to a nearby city – slowly but surely, you will start to feel comfortable again.
DON’T ignore the crash site
It is common for drivers to steer clear of where they got into an accident but that is the wrong mindset to have. You are always going to remain anxious if you ignore where the crash took place. It is important to focus on the area and make sure it doesn’t bother you over the long-term. Sooner or later, you will have to return back for one reason or the other.
Do be careful when you are driving down that road, but keep in mind that accidents don’t happen just in that particular place. It is not the place you should avoid.
DO apply for a defensive driving course
It is never a bad idea to sit down with a professional instructor to relearn some of the driving habits necessary to be a good driver. They can sharpen your skillset and allow you to feel confident on the road again. Getting a few classes can be super useful for anyone who hasn’t been driving for some time. Having a professional by your side is always a great idea and you just know that they will be supportive.
If you’ve been in a car accident, you’re up for the long road ahead. Sure, it will take some time to get back in the car and drive confidently, but don’t go the other way around and never sit in your vehicle again. Follow the steps mentioned above and talk to professionals from various fields to beat anxiety and fear. As we’ve mentioned before, it is important to surround yourself with people who are supportive. You can do it!